Home » Anthony Trollope Biography » The Warden by Anthony Trollope

The Warden by Anthony Trollope


Printed in the year 1855, “The Warden” is written by Anthony Trollope. It stayed as one of the classics of English literature. Trollope’s jokey, emotional and observant account of the exertions of Septimus Harding, who is a clergyman in the cathedral town of Barchester is relished by hundreds of thousands of book lover over the past century and a half.

Mr Harding, an ageing warden of the Hospital of Hiram. It a charity home time-honoured more than 400 years earlier for a dozen aged labourers who are no longer able to receive their daily bread. The novel unlocks with Harding, as the warden for more than a decade.

To administer the actions of the home and the upkeep of the men, a far from difficult task he was being paid 800 pounds a year. The men were given a less important amount of payments money aside from having a roof over their heads and their daily meals. And over the path of the year for the 12 men, totals of the costs money was something less than a tenth of what received by Mr Harding.

The contradiction in the payments was something not to Mr Harding and to the men is not the warden perverted. It was the end result of the beforehand made pronouncements over the centuries. Negligible growls about the proficiency of the situation are being gossiped about now.

Mr Harding discoveries his name being pulled through the mud of public debate. The case gets the support of the lofty Attorney General of the Cabinet, Sir Abraham Haphazard. Also, Jupiter newspaper, Times of London comes along for the backing.

Heritage Press 1955,Warden Anthony Trollope
Heritage Press 1955, Warden Anthony Trollope


Talking of the Warden, he seems to be a very lenient man. He has no ambition to speak of. In a very decorous way, He is hesitant to point of being wimpish. The distinguishing characteristic of his, aside from a profound kindness is the talent for invocation and for playing the violoncello.

When he is playing his violoncello he was found at utmost peace. Nonetheless, the novel is brought to a sustaining supposition when the public arguments over his wardenship over and above the limits and the action are taken by the Warden.

The Warden centres on Mr Harding who is a clergyman of countless personal honesty. Nevertheless in obsessed with an income from a charity far in excess of the sum dedicated to the purposes of the foundation. When this was exposed, young John Bold turns his reforming zeal to uncover what he favours as an abuse of treat.

Even though he was in love with Eleanor Mr Harding’s daughter. It was a highly contemporary novel, but like other great Victorian novelists, detailed case to explore and lighten the universal complexities of human enthusiasm and social principles are used by Trollope.

The virtuous thing about the canon classic novel of Anthony Trollope’s ‘The Warden’ is that the author is passed on so that they can’t take fault and the book has legions of fans already.

The first in the series of the Chronicles of the Barchester Chronicles was ‘The Warden’.All the tales made around a fictional English Cathedral town is told in The Barchester Chronicles. Also in the novel, no particular date is mentioned, but the picture of the Victorian period can be visualized as we read it.

Centres on Mr Harding, who is the preceptor of the cathedral and also the warden of the hospital of Hiram. It is this proceeds that have been hand down to John Bold, an ardent reformer. He needs to look into as it seems that Mr Harding gets around £800 a year for really doing very petite.

The Warden is thus a quiet novel and almost nostalgic for a modern reader. Church reform; the big issues of the time focused by Trollope especially the monetary reform. The concern is that more is being paid to those appointed to charitable office at the church than the job warrants.

Trollope begins by narrowing the issue down to two people the reformer, John Bold and Mr Harding who is the holder of a well-paid position as warden of the local hospital for a select group of retired older men who cannot afford to care for themselves.

Enough background and outside commentary are given to show that the issue is pressing and nation-wide. And the two men give the reader an inside look at the situation.

Trollope understands both sides and this is the part which makes The Warden so good. John Bold, being thoughtless and prone to rush in without examining his case first.

The allies were seen more interested in sensation than on correcting wrongs. Further, Mr Harding is clearly an honourable man, and the men residing in the hospital happy, comfortable, and well-cared for.

Also, there is something to be said for the beauty of the traditions supported by the charity and the physical beauty of the buildings thus created. One of the things that make The Warden and Barchester Towers so enjoyable is the town itself. The warden’s house is described beautifully, of the cathedral, of the house out in Plumstead.

Then there are the people: The authoritative Mr Grantly, quiet Eleanor Harding, pushy John Bold, and the sensible Mary who are part of a vibrant community. And then there is Trollope himself, who cannot stay out of his book but steps in to do the odd bit of gossip about the characters, the town, and writing itself.



In bad times the poor men had had their due, and therefore in good times they could expect no more.



A man establishes a charitable hospital for the poor men of the nearby town of Barchester is established by a man named John Hiram. When the estate four hundred years later is making enough money that the warden of the hospital has a high salary.

A legal battle rages, when a local man decides to uproot what he sees as corruption.With the result that many are hurt and no one is being helped. Mr Harding, a priest, is the warden assigned to look after the men. Hiram’s Hospital houses twelve charity cases, old men from Barchester who have no one to care for them in their old age.

He receives a salary based on the value of the land and the land has become very valuable after so many years.Mr.Harding is a kind man and gives added money from his own pocket to the men assigned to his care. Most of his time is spent playing his violoncello, either for the residents or by himself.

The elder daughter Susan is being married to Dr Grantly who is the archdeacon. Eleanor, the other daughter is in love with a home-grown surgeon named John Bold. John Bold sees himself as an activist and is strong-minded to stop corruption anywhere he sees it.

The situation gets uglier and Eleanor decides that she can not think about marrying John Bold when he is indicting her father. To many clergymen, the case seems very important, as this can set a legal precedent concerning the role of the Church of England.

A journalist for the newspaper the Jupiter writes several slanderous editorials about Mr Harding. Eleanor being worried for her father begs John to stop the lawsuit. The overwhelmed love and guilt made him agree and in no time they both got tied up. As told by John the case is being withdrawn.

Mr Harding is horrified by the newspaper articles and decides that he can not knob such public persecution. He gives notice from the wardenship as he does not want to suppress the case.

A massive pay cut is taken by Mr Harding and becomes the priest of a tiny parish. Eleanor and John get married. John Bold and Dr Grantly become close friends. The bishop chooses not to employ anyone in the place of Mr Harding. And the condition of the beadsmen gets even worsened and they live the rest of there lives without any care.


The Warden has been written by Anthony Trollope; the first book in the Chronicles of Barsetshire series. The work centres upon Septimus Harding, an elderly clergyman working as the warden of a retirement home and hospital for the elderly.

Harding, a humble and decent man who later gets wedged in the middle of a skirmish defaming him.
John Bold, crusading reformer.Though an acquaintance of Harding, he initiates to take on a cause which finally puts him at odds with the warden.

Several hundred years earlier from a well-off patron the hospital was set up as a trust through an endowment. One foremost thing asserted by John that too much money is being paid to the warden and assisted that more money should go to the patients. Criticism of Harding mounts as the story progresses.

Also by self-serving and unethical journalists, he is being attacked personally. Archdeacon Grantly, son in law of Harding takes up the root of the church and comes in opposition to Jhon. Harding is obtainable as a surprisingly interesting character. His weakness is often characterised by his meekness. Unable to stand the public criticism he decides to resign from the position of warden.


Anthony Trollope
Anthony Trollope

The style of Trollope has been compared to that of Charles Dickens. Based upon this one work, I would argue that while there are similarities between the two authors, Trollope has his own distinct style. For instance, The characters are less entertaining of Trollope and are also less absurd and generally more realistic.

Also, a more balanced picture is painted by Trollope of the world’s contending forces. Trollope also seems less sentimental than Dickens. The activism of self-control, stability and minimalism is another thing that this novel exudes.

Fanatical, self-aggrandizing organisers, arrogance, unbending conservatives; the things which caught the warden. A lot of contrasting views are seen by the author, a lot of good and a lot of bad. Being clearly advocating a middle crushed is the author. The author is critical of those who see the world in terms of black and white.

The Warden pdf

Free download the warden by Trollope in PDF format


Found info useful?